How to choose a nursing home

Choosing a home for your loved one is one of the hardest decisions you’ll have to make.

There are a number of factors you should consider and at times, it will feel like there is not a lot of external support or information to help you with this process. Please be assured that if you look in the right places, there are many different organisations that can help you to make this decision. We have a 3 “Go To” golden rules when it comes to choosing a care home. These are:


  • Is the fabric of the building in good repair? If the building looks well presented on entry (check window frames etc) and the interior is nicely decorated with evidence of ongoing repairs (wheelchairs and painted walls don’t often mix but should be kept on top of!) then you’re off to a good start!
  • Does the home smell? There is no excuse for that lingering smell often associated with care homes. Any good quality care home would know how to deal with accidents quickly and with minimal fuss to maintain dignity and ensure a clean, fresh living environment for all our residents. Accidents do happen but you should see evidence of the situation being dealt with.
  • Are the staff happy? When you walk around any home, staff should be happy and offer you a “hello”. It is a sign that they are satisfied in their work and are more likely to provide loving care to your relative or yourself.

Sometime is can feel like an insurmountable task just getting to this point. If you are unsure of how to identify appropriate homes to consider, you can:

  • Contact your local Adult Social Service who will be able to provide you with an approved “List” of homes to look at.
  • You can look online at the home’s website
  • You can look at their entry on where you can read real reviews from family members and service users
  • You can review their latest report on – read our report here
  • Ask around – you never know who at your local shop will have first-hand experience of care homes in the area!


Please do not be afraid to ask questions when you are being shown round and call up after with all the questions you forgot to ask during your visit

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